Creating Regional Solutions Since 1971
July 2020
Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments Elects New Leadership

The Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments (UCPCOG) Board of Directors has elected new officers, who will lead the agency, for the 2020-2021 program year. Mr. Gregory Browning, representing the City of Roanoke Rapids, will serve as the Chairman, Mr. Bobbie Jones, Mayor of the Town of Princeville, will serve as the Vice-Chairman, and Ms. Miranda Boykin, Mayor of the Town of Sims, will serve as the Board Secretary/Treasurer. 
Upper Coastal Plain Council of Governments Area Agency on Aging:
Addressing Social Isolation During COVID-19 and Beyond

Upper Coastal Plain Area Agency on Aging continues to work remotely to assist disabled and older adults. We have access to our phones and email and are ensuring that disabled and older adults continue to receive vital services.
We are exploring technologies and programs to address the usual concerns, as well as new and exacerbated issues, faced by older adults during this trying time. One such issue is social isolation. We have many who have self-isolated because of the pandemic and those in long term care facilities who have been cut off from their loved ones longer than anyone anticipated. To maintain some sense of normalcy, we are turning to animatronic pets for some of the most at risk older adults in the region. We are excited to bring this to the region. To learn more about the dangers of social isolation and how to address it, we encourage you to explore the following links:

If you are 60+, or know someone who is 60+, and experiencing social isolation, please give us a call at 252-234-5984 or send an email to to get more information. 
Preparing for 2020 Hurricane Season
Governor Cooper Establishes a Task Force For Racial Equity In Criminal Justice

On Tuesday, June 9th Governor Cooper signed Executive Order 145 establishing NC Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice. This task force sets a path to eliminate the systemic racial bias in the criminal justice system. They will look at the best ways to fix that bias and then focus on implementing those strategies.

Executive Order No. 147

Extension of Phase 2 Order and New Measures to Save Lives in
the COVID-19 Pandemic

Executive Order No. 147 does the following:

  1. Extends Phase II (EO141) for three weeks (now expiring at 5:00pm on July 17, 2020).
  2. Requires the wearing of face coverings. 

Please see Section II of the Executive Order for face covering requirements, exception, and enforcement provisions.

Read  Frequently Asked Questions  about the executive Order and mandatory face coverings.
EO147 became effective at 5:00 p.m. on June 26 th

Meet NC’s Mayors —
Bobbie Jones Of Princeville


When  Hurricane Matthew flooded his hometown in 2016 , Mayor Bobbie Jones understood the magnitude of the decisions ahead. As the National Guard drained the floodwaters back into the Tar River, some of the 2,200 residents considered relocation. 

Mayor Jones flat-out refused. For him and for many of his neighbors, neither Hurricane Matthew nor Floyd in 1999 could compare to  their ancestors’ struggle to found the town . Settled in 1865 as Freedom Hill, the freedfolk arrived from all over Eastern North Carolina with few-to-no resources and had access to none of the federal or state infrastructure dollars available to their descendants today. It is the oldest town in the nation established by Black people, and it remains 97% African American.

Yet, with many residents only a generation away from sharecropping cotton — Jones included — the danger of economic subjugation remains a constant fear. Mayor Bobbie Jones tells host Frank Stasio about why an autonomous and thriving Princeville remains an important symbol for Black America.
NCDHHS Announces $26 Million to Help Mitigate the Economic Disruption of COVID-19, Including Assistance for Families Facing Eviction

Community Action Agencies  (CAAs) have begun to receive flexible funds that can be used to help low-income individuals and families meet a variety of needs caused by the economic disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds are part of the federal Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) and can, among other allowable uses, help eligible residents facing eviction with unmet rent and utility expenses. 
“With the economic disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Governor’s moratorium on evictions and utility shutoffs is the only thing keeping many families in safe and stable housing,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. “This flexible funding will allow our Community Action Agencies to continue to meet a wide array of needs in our communities, including helping families remain in their homes when the moratorium is lifted.” 

Community Action Agencies are nonprofit organizations created by President Lyndon B. Johnson’s signing of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964. To be eligible for CSBG-funded services, individuals and families must be at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. 
NCDHHS Awarded $1.5M to Expand Mental Health Support Through Crisis Counseling Programing

NCDHHS has been  awarded  $1.5 million to support and expand the Hope4NC program, which connects North Carolinians to mental health supports that help them cope and build resilience during times of crisis. North Carolinians who call the Hope4NC Helpline talk with trained counselors who provide emotional support and share resources on building coping skills during times of crisis. Additional resources and information on staying physically and mentally healthy can be found on the  Managing Overall Health  and  Wellness Resources  webpages.
NCDHHS Allocates $35M to Local Health Departments for COVID-19 Response

NCDHHS is allocating $35 million in federal funding to local health departments to support the COVID-19 response. Per federal guidelines, counties will be able to use these funds to support COVID-19 staffing, infection controls, testing and tracing, IT infrastructure and data sharing and visualization. “Since the start of the pandemic our local health departments have been working around the clock to protect their communities and slow the spread of the virus. These funds continue to support their ability to address the overwhelming demands they are facing,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D.
Prevent and Protect Media Toolkit

To help you get out the word about North Carolina’s ongoing efforts to expand testing and contact tracing, DHHS is providing social media resources and flyers. The materials are provided in English and Spanish. Also, please note that the Check My Symptoms flyers have an additional option to add your organization’s logo and branding information.

Thank you for your continued partnership as we all work to ensure every North Carolinian has the information and support they need to protect themselves and their loved ones. Together, we will slow the spread.
Census Update

The Census Bureau announced on May 27 that four out of five households have responded to the 2020 Census on their own using the website form at . Internet self-response rates are 9.2 percent higher than the original projection for online response. Households can respond online or by phone in English or 12 other languages. For the latest response rates by state and municipality, view the Census Bureau’s most recent press release .
Largely Black areas lag average US Census Self-Response Rates in NC
As of June 22 nd , 57.9% of households in NC have responded to the Census . Census tracts in NC containing 40% or more Black residents had a Census self-response rate of 6.7 percentage points lower than the state average.

See the current response rate for your county

Release Date: June 17, 2020                             
Release Number: 20-48
Contact: , (202) 205-7036                           
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SBA and Treasury Announce New EZ and Revised Full Forgiveness Applications for the Paycheck Protection Program
WASHINGTON— Today, the U.S. Small Business Administration, in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, posted a revised, borrower-friendly Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness application implementing the PPP Flexibility Act of 2020, signed into law by President Trump on June 5, 2020. In addition to revising the full forgiveness application, SBA also published a new EZ version of the forgiveness application that applies to borrowers that:
·      Are self-employed and have no employees; OR
·      Did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%, and did not reduce the number or hours of their employees; OR
·      Experienced reductions in business activity as a result of health directives related to COVID-19 and did not reduce the salaries or wages of their employees by more than 25%.
The EZ application requires fewer calculations and less documentation for eligible borrowers. Details regarding the applicability of these provisions are available in the instructions to the new EZ application form. 
Both applications give borrowers the option of using the original 8-week covered period (if their loan was made before June 5, 2020) or an extended 24-week covered period. These changes will result in a more efficient process and make it easier for businesses to realize full forgiveness of their PPP loan. 
Click here to view the EZ Forgiveness Application.
Click here to view the Full Forgiveness Application. 
Going Stir Crazy During This Time?

Going outside and enjoying the beautiful spring weather can help with the case of cabin fever. Just remember to keep up with social distancing of six feet apart and wash your hands.

Halifax and Northampton County have some great walking trails.

Here are just a few!

Episode three of Gig East Features, a webex interview series. In this episode the Exchange Manager, Darren Smith, interviews North State Consulting Founder, Bill O'Boyle. North State expanded to Wilson, and grew their business while leasing space at the Upper Coastal Plain Business Development Center located in Downtown Wilson. Tune in to learn why they chose historic downtown Wilson, North Carolina to grow their company.
Dear Community Partner,

Resourceful Communities, in partnership with  Day 1 Disaster Relief , is in the process of organizing a shipment of cloth masks from FEMA. The face coverings provided are 100% cotton and contain silver and copper, which help prevent the growth of viruses and germs.  These masks are intended for non-profits and their staff/volunteers, NOT the general public per FEMA guidelines  (i.e. for food pantries, the masks are used for volunteers/staff doing distribution, NOT participants coming to the food pantry for pick-up).
We are surveying which organizations need masks and HOW MANY they project they'll need from now until December 2020. We are organizing on behalf of small, rural non-profits who don't otherwise have access to masks for their staff.  Please fill out this short survey ,  and if you have any questions, don't hesitate to call Jaimie McGirt (910-231-6760) or Olivia Percoco (631-905-9550) for more information or help filling out the survey.
Education and Transportation Bond Act of 2020

A bipartisan $3.1 billion transportation and education bond package passed the NC House on second reading this week and should advance to the NC Senate.

The bill originally earmarked $800 million for public schools and $200 million for community colleges, but an amendment boosted that to $1.05 billion for public schools and $300 million for community colleges. Additionally, the bill does $600 million for the UNC System and $1.15 billion for transportation.

Any bond package approved by the General Assembly would also have to be approved by the voters in a statewide referendum.

With extremely low interest rates and surging unemployment, now is a great time to use bond financing to get moving on critically-need infrastructure projects and create good-paying jobs. The cost of borrowing now is extremely low thanks to low interest rates and North Carolina’s AAA bond rating.
Beware of Scams and Fraud Schemes

The Office of Inspector General recognizes that we are facing unprecedented times and is alerting the public about potential fraud schemes related to economic stimulus programs offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration in response to the Novel Coronavirus Pandemic (COVID-19). The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the largest financial assistance bill to date, includes provisions to help small businesses. Fraudsters have already begun targeting small business owners during these economically difficult times.  Be on the lookout for grant fraud, loan fraud, and phishing.

SBA’s Economic Injury Disaster Loans
and Advance Program Reopened

To further meet the needs of U.S. small businesses and non-profits, the U.S. Small Business Administration reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance program portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19 today.

“The SBA is strongly committed to working around the clock, providing dedicated emergency assistance to the small businesses and non-profits that are facing economic disruption due to the COVID-19 impact. With the reopening of the EIDL assistance and EIDL Advance application portal to all new applicants, additional small businesses and non-profits will be able to receive these long-term, low interest loans and emergency grants – reducing the economic impacts for their businesses, employees and communities they support,” said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza. “Since EIDL assistance due to the pandemic first became available to small businesses located in every state and territory, SBA has worked to provide the greatest amount of emergency economic relief possible. To meet the unprecedented need, the SBA has made numerous improvements to the application and loan closing process, including deploying new technology and automated tools.”

Twin Proposals Shore Up NCDOT Funding, Alter Governance

The N.C. Department of Transportation would see improved finances as well as an altered governance and oversight structure under twin legislative proposals advanced this week. The measures come largely as a response to mounting fiscal troubles at the department, which caused severe budget cuts, work stoppages across the state, and furloughs.

First, new language for HB 77 DOT 2020-2021 FY Budget/Governance received speedy, unanimous consideration by the Senate this week. The lengthy bill included modified budget plans for the state’s transportation operations in the upcoming fiscal year. While the bill ensured the gas tax rate would not decrease at its next readjustment point—thereby shoring up the state’s largest transportation revenue source—the bill made cuts to numerous spending categories that affected transportation activities in cities. Public transportation took on large cuts in this proposal, including the zeroing-out of a critical public transit assistance fund called the State Maintenance Assistance Program for FY 20-21. The bill also balanced Powell Bill distributions for cities in the next fiscal year by reducing the allocations for Charlotte and Raleigh. Then, from a governance perspective, the bill implemented numerous fiscal oversight and accountability processes. It also modified appointments to the N.C. Board of Transportation.

Also this week, the House advanced a bond proposal sponsored by House Speaker Tim Moore that would include funding for both transportation and education needs across the state. House members approved HB 1225 Education & Transportation Bond Act of 2020 yesterday on a 113-4 vote, and the package will likely receive a final House vote next week. In the Senate, however, the measure likely faces a chilly reception amidst the economic downturn, with Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger telling the Insider State Government News Service yesterday, “If your boss has told you that he’s cutting your pay next week, do you go out and borrow money to buy a new car? I just don’t know that that’s the answer.”
  • EDA accepting applications to support economic recovery from coronavirus

(Please call Ben Farmer at 252-234-5966 to discuss project details prior to application)

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) released an Addendum to is Fiscal Year 202 Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Notice of Funding (FY 20 PEAA NOFO) to invite applicants to submit applications for funding made available under the CARES Act. 

Under this announcement, EDA will make CARES Act Recovery Assistance grants under the authority of its Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) program, which is intended to be flexible and responsive to the economic development needs and priorities of local and regional stakeholders.

EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance investments will support a wide range of non-construction and construction activities, including Revolving Loan Funds, in regions across the country experiencing severe economic dislocations brought about by the coronavirus pandemic. Funds are intended to help communities prevent, prepare for, and respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

Examples of projects that EDA may fund through its CARES Act Recovery Assistance include economic recovery planning and preparing technical assistance strategies to address economic dislocations caused by the coronavirus pandemic, preparing or updating resiliency plans to respond to future pandemics, implementing entrepreneurial support programs to diversify economies, and constructing public works and facilities that will support economic recovery, including the deployment of broadband for purposes including supporting telehealth and remote learning for job skills.

Eligible applicants under the EAA program include a(n):
•                    District Organization;
•                    Indian Tribe or a consortium of Indian Tribes;
•                    State, county, city, or other political subdivision of a State, including a special purpose unit of a State or local government engaged in economic or infrastructure development activities, or a consortium of political subdivisions;
•                    Institution of higher education or a consortium of institutions of higher education; or
•                    Public or private non-profit organization or association acting in cooperation with officials of a political subdivision of a State.
For more information, please visit the EDA CARES Act Recovery Assistance page at . Applications must be submitted via To locate the application package, please go to .

  • EDA invites applications for economic development grant opportunities

(Please call Ben Farmer at 252-234-5966 to discuss project details prior to application)

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) invites applicants to submit applications under its Public Works program and Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) programs. Through these programs, EDA invites applications to request grant assistance for clearly defined construction or non-construction assistance projects that will advance job creation, job retention and private investment or enhance economic development decision-making, respectfully. 
Through EDA’s grant programs construction may support the construction of new public assets or the renovation of existing public assets, which include but are not limited to water/sewer lines, tanks, systems, pumps; incubators; access roads; workforce training facilities; commercialization centers; port improvements; and other similar projects.  EDA’s non-construction projects can support a wide array of activities, including highest and best use analysis, cluster and supply chain mapping studies, and regional technical assistance projects. Matching share funds are required and must be committed at the time of the project and for the same scope of work. For Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Programs the match is generally 50 percent, although communities may qualify for a higher grant rate. To learn more and to discuss potential projects, please contact Hillary Sherman at . To access the funding notice and application forms, please go to: .

  • Institute for Emerging Issues announced launch of BAND-NC to support Internet deployment

(Please call Ben Farmer at 252-234-5966 to discuss project details prior to application)

The Institute for Emerging Issues in partnership and support with the NC Broadband Infrastructure Office, the John M. Belk Endowment, the Atlantic Telephone Membership Corporation, the Roanoke Electric Cooperative, and the North Carolina Electric Cooperatives, has announced availability of grants to communities across the state to facilitate digital access across North Carolina. Building a New Digital Economy in NC (BAND-NC) will support thirty $5,000 “rapid response community innovation grants” this summer, a series of workshops led by IEI and BIO to help communities develop “digital inclusion plans” this fall, and another thirty $5,000 “implementation” grants in 2021. 
The Institute for Emerging Issues will be hosting a BAND-NC information webinar on Friday, June 19 at 9:00 a.m. To register, please go to: .   To learn more about the grant opportunity, please go to .

  • SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans and EIDL Advance Programs Reopened

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) reopened the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and EIDL Advance Program Portal to all eligible applicants experiencing economic impacts due to COVID-19 on June 15, 2020. Through this program, SBA offers long-term, low-interest assistance for a small business or non-profit. Loans can provide vital economic support to help alleviate temporary loss of revenue, and can be used to cover payroll, inventory, pay debt or fund other expenses. Additionally, the EIDL Advance will provide up to $10,000 ($1,000 per employee) of emergency economic relief to businesses that are currently experiencing temporary difficulties, and these emergency grants do not have to be repaid. To learn more, please go to .

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making $1 million in grant funding available to states, local governments, tribes, and territories for projects to improve the health and welfare of low income, minority, tribal and indigenous communities. EPA will give special consideration to those applications aimed at addressing the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic communities with EJ concerns. The State Environmental Justice Environmental Justice (SEJCA) Cooperative Agreement Program will provide funds to eligible states, local governments, tribes and territories. EPA anticipates issuing 5 grants of approximately $200,000 each for a two-year funding period. Applications are due by Tuesday, June 30, 2020 at 11:59PM Eastern Time. To learn more, please go to:

  • National Park Service announces funding for Outdoor Recreation Partnership Program

The National Park Service State and Local Assistance Division announced the availability of funds for a national competitive grant program. State, local governments and Indian Tribes are eligible to submit Proposals for matching grants to support projects that would acquire or develop public land for outdoor recreation purposes located within or serving Census-delineated “urbanized areas”: places with a population of 50,000 or more people that are densely settled. Applications are expected to range between $300,000 - $1 million. Applications must be received by July 10. For more information and to access the application package, please go to .

  • OSHA Susan Harwood Workforce Training Grants Available to Nonprofits

The US Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced the availability of $11.5 million in Susan Harwood Training Grant to help provide resources for training and education to help workers and employers identify and prevent workplace safety and health hazards, including the coronavirus. Applications must be received by July 20. For more information and to access the application package, please go to .
Funding Opportunities

Please note that many deadlines for Federal funding opportunities have been extended. See Approaching Deadlines section below. 

IHS Tribal Forensic Healthcare Training Ongoing . The Indian Health Service (IHS) provides clinical training courses, live and online, related to the identification, collection, and preservation of medical forensic evidence obtained during the treatment of victims of sexual and domestic violence. Participants may be medical professionals in hospitals, health clinics, and health stations within the Indian health system.

USDA Technical Assistance for Healthy Food Financing Initiative Ongoing . The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides technical assistance for early stage healthy food access projects in underserved areas with a focus on management, financial health, and operations. Eligible applicants include public, private, and nonprofit organizations. 

USDA Rural Business Development Grants Ongoing . The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) provides grants for projects that benefit small and emerging businesses in rural areas. Small means that the business has fewer than 50 new workers and less than $1 million in gross revenue. Eligible applicants are rural public and private, nonprofit entities including institutions of higher education and Federally-recognized tribes.   
Planning and Development
Opportunity Zones Toolkit Volume 2 Now Available to Guide Local Economic Development Plans and Strategies to Maximize Opportunity Zone Investment Across the Country
In partnership with the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council (WHORC), the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently issued its Opportunity Zones Toolkit Volume 2 , a guide for local leaders to use when developing and implementing economic development strategies to leverage their Opportunity Zone designations.

The Toolkit builds on the roadmap established in the Opportunity Zones Toolkit Volume 1 and provides tips, resources, and best practices to assist local leaders in economic development planning.

By aligning local, state and federal resources, establishing incentives, and building on new partnerships, communities in and around Opportunity Zones can attract the desired private capital investment they need to boost economic growth throughout their region.
EDA has made several critical policy changes to further fund and catalyze projects in and near Opportunity Zones: 

  • In 2018, EDA issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity that made Opportunity Zones eligible for EDA funds through its special needs category.
  • Last year, EDA added Opportunity Zones as one of our five Investment Priorities.
  • Last year, EDA incorporated Opportunity Zones into our Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) Content Guidelines to better assist local and regional planning partners to build effective approaches to maximize the benefits of Opportunity Zones. 

In addition, EDA worked with the Indiana University and its Kelley School of Business to create , a web portal to link Opportunity Zones with economic and demographic data that intersects EDA’s Economic Development District, University Center programs, and Revolving Loan Funds, and other work. 

Earlier this month, the WHORC delivered a report to President Donald J. Trump outlining Opportunity Zone best practices and examples of revitalization occurring across America. The report prominently features policy actions and grants made by EDA that are generating investment in Opportunity Zones. 

To learn more about EDA’s Opportunity Zones work, please visit our Opportunity Zones website
LEVERAGE NC to Provide Cities and Towns with Economic Development Training and Resources

The N.C. League of Municipalities (NCLM), in partnership with the N.C. Department of Commerce and its Main Street and Rural Planning Center, the N.C. Downtown Development Association, and the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Historic Preservation Office, is proud to announce Leverage NC, a resource designed to further local government economic development efforts. Through a carefully curated catalog of educational offerings and expert resources, Leverage NC will provide cities and towns statewide the tools needed to strengthen local economies and support enhanced business opportunity back at home.

Over the next year, Leverage NC will roll out a set of educational resources designed to address the most immediate issues facing communities and local economies. Topics will include post COVID-19 development, funding and partnerships, organizational development, project development after a disaster, and strategy development for a new normal.

Cities and towns are the economic engine of North Carolina with 80 percent of all jobs and 75 percent of all retail sales in the state occurring within municipal limits. Cities and towns make investments that attract businesses to North Carolina, grow jobs, and create unmatched quality of life.
House Effort Supports Water, Wastewater Utility Needs
The House Appropriations Committee considered individual funding bills this week, including a top priority of cities and towns.   HB 1087 Water/Wastewater Public Enterprise Reform  would provide $9 million in non-recurring state funds to create a new grant program – the Viable Utility Reserve – that supports financially distressed public water and wastewater systems by facilitating viable operations and encouraging regionalization.

The bill language was result of a yearlong legislative study and stakeholder process that focused on the more than $17 billion in water and sewer infrastructure needs statewide and also includes a study of the feasibility of authorizing historical charters for units of local government. Senate Appropriations chairs have shown support of the same bill language by introducing  SB 810 Water/Wastewater Public Enterprise Reform ; however, they have not listed an appropriation amount.
North Carolina Main Street Communities Receive National Accreditation For 2020

The N.C. Main Street Center & Rural Planning Center at the N.C. Department of Commerce announced that 48 North Carolina communities have been designated as a 2020 Accredited Main Street America™ program. Accredited status is Main Street America's highest tier of recognition, signifying a demonstrated commitment to comprehensive commercial district revitalization and showcasing a proven track record of successfully applying the Main Street Approach.

The North Carolina Main Street communities that have earned accreditation for their 2019 performance in our region include Roanoke Rapids , Tarboro and Wilson .

Since 1980, The North Carolina Main Street program has generated $3.25 billion in private and public investment. In 2019, North Carolina Main Street downtown districts generated 345 net new businesses, 148 expansions of existing businesses, 2,211 net new jobs, 378 façade rehabilitations, 297 building rehabilitations, and logged more than 150,000 volunteer hours.

For more information, contact Liz Parham, director of the N.C. Main Street Center at (919) 814-4658.
New CDC Water Worker Website

During the coronavirus pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have worked hand in hand to ensure the American public has the information they need to stay informed with respect to using water resources.

CDC recently posted a new coronavirus website for sanitation and wastewater workers . Additionally, EPA regularly updates its coronavirus website , which provides information on drinking water and wastewater. In addition to information for the general public, this website includes resources for state, local, and tribal agencies and intergovernmental associations. 

Having fully operational drinking water and wastewater services is critical during the COVID-19 national health emergency. EPA supports our nation's water and wastewater employees who help protect human health and the environment every single day.

For the latest information from EPA about COVID-19, see:

Contact Information
Bridget Munger

State Opens Homeowner Application Period for ReBuild NC Storm Recovery Program
Raleigh, NC –Governor Roy Cooper has announced the opening of a new application period for homeowners who need assistance with home repairs due to damage from Hurricanes Florence and/or Matthew. ReBuild NC , a program of the North Carolina Office of Recovery and Resiliency (NCORR), established the Homeowner Recovery Program to help homeowners repair, reconstruct or elevate homes damaged by the storms. The program is part of a comprehensive plan to distribute federal Community Development Block Grant-Disaster Recovery (CBDG-DR) funds within North Carolina’s hardest hit communities. 

“The damaging impacts of Hurricanes Florence and Matthew can still be seen in many North Carolina communities today,” said Gov. Cooper. “The Homeowner Recovery Program can help homeowners rebuild smarter and stronger to make them more resilient against future storms.”
Shovel-Ready Trail Projects

The NC Coalition for Trails is creating a list of shovel-ready trail projects from across the state. The project list will show just how many trails across the state can be built as soon as funds become available - from the state budget or stimulus funds. Please use this form, created and maintained by Erin with The Conservation Fund, to include your project.  Shovel Ready Projects  

In May, the Coalition sent a proposal to Governor Copper requesting funding that will put people to work building and repairing trails. The letter requests a $15 million non-recurring grant program administered by State Parks to fund shovel-ready trail projects throughout the state. This would be a way to provide meaningful jobs that will revitalize the economy and enhance the quality of life in communities throughout North Carolina. If we have learned anything during this time, it is how important trails are for our physical and mental health.

Thank you for taking the time to add your projects. Please forward this to municipalities and any others you know who may have projects to add.
WorkForce Development
The NC Works Career Center of Rocky Mount hosted a drive-up hiring event in partnership with Resource Manufacturing on June 13 th . This event provided information sessions for positions to be filled at QVC of Rocky Mount

Here's what's new on  our COVID-19 resource page

New guidance for ACL grantees :

  • Centers for Independent Living CARES Act Annual Program Report Instructions and Instrument
  • FAQ: COVID-19 Response Program Reporting Guidance for OAA Title III Programs Older Americans Act – State Program Report (SPR)
  • Survival Guide: Navigating ACL Guidance for Administering Title IIIC during the COVID-19 Pandemic

The latest from the CDC :

We continue to add new and updated guidance released by the CDC. Recent additions include:

  • Guidance for direct service professionals and group homes for people with disabilities
  • Guidance for people with developmental and behavioral disorders and their families and caregivers.
  • Guidance for caregivers of people living with dementia.

Tool to make hospital visits more person-centered :

During the COVID-19 pandemic, people with communication, comprehension, and behavioral challenges may need to visit the hospital without the support of family or friends who would normally accompany them. ACL's National Center on Advancing Person-Centered Practices and Systems has developed a person-centered tool to assist people with disabilities, older adults, and others to communicate their needs and preferences with hospital and other health care staff. The two-page tool includes a sheet for vital health information and a person-centered profile to describe who the person is, what is most important to them, and how they can best be supported.

Free face coverings for the aging and disability networks :

To help limit the spread of COVID-19, HHS and FEMA are offering cloth face coverings at no cost to community-based organizations.

“Huddles” explore nursing home transitions :

The Institute for Healthcare Improvement, with support from the John A. Hartford Foundation, is continuing its daily 20 minute “huddles” weekdays at noon EDT to support nursing home leadership, staff, residents, families, and communities. Through a partnership with ACL and NCAPPS many of this week’s huddles will focus on transitions from nursing homes. Upcoming topics include Centers for Independent Living (today), Georgia's Developmental Disabilities Network (Wednesday), and New York Mental Health Peer Supports (Thursday).

Last but not least :

  • The National Assistive Technology Act Technical Assistance and Training (AT3) Center has hurricane preparedness tips for users of assistive technology.
  • The National Indigenous Elder Justice Initiative has developed a resource for tribal communities with information on preventing the spread of COVID-19, protecting elders and loved ones, and spotting scams.
  • The American Red Cross has established a Virtual Family Assistance Center to aid people in need during the COVID-19 emergency. Volunteers are available to help you navigate available resources.
  • The National Center on Law and Elder Rights has developed a document with answers to common questions about stimulus payments and representative payees.

Challenge seeks online tool to help socially isolated Americans connect and engage

The Administration for Community Living (ACL ) and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health launched the MENTAL Health Challenge to combat the social isolation and loneliness that older adults, people with disabilities, and veterans often experience. A total of $750,000 in prizes will be awarded for development of an easy-to-use online system that offers recommendations for programs, activities and resources that can help users connect to others and engage in the community, based on their individual needs, interests, and abilities. The winning system will be announced and demonstrated in January 2021 at CES . And it ultimately will become the centerpiece of a national public awareness campaign.
National Paralysis Resource Center Opens High Impact Innovative Assistive Technology Grants Opportunity

ACL's National Paralysis Resource Center (managed by the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation ) will open the new grant application cycle for the High Impact Innovative Assistive Technology (HIIAT) grants program on July 13. Eligible applicants are restricted to state programs funded through the State Assistive Technology Act, including implementing agencies and agencies subcontracted for Assistive Technology activities.
Launched in 2015 in partnership with ACL, the National Paralysis Resource Center’s HIIAT grant program is a competitive grant program that awards a small number of one-year grants of up to $75,000. These additional grant funds will help state programs expand their reach in the field of assistive technology through new innovations that will impact people living with paralysis in their homes and communities. Funding for this new cycle of grants was made possible through a cooperative agreement with the Administration for Community Living.

Awarded grant funds support innovative programs or services that:

  • Target a specific, well-defined underserved population within the broader disability community in their state;
  • Through assistive technology devices or services, increase access to services, increase the independence or inclusion of people within the underserved population within their communities; and
  • When complete, will have a demonstrable, direct impact on people affected by the project.

Applications are due September 15.

Join the Application Technical Assistance Webinar on July 20.

Previously funded organizations are eligible to apply, however past grantees must submit proposals for new and innovative projects. Past grantees must also be in good standing, having successfully closed out past grant awards with a final report outlining accomplishments and fully expending grant funds awarded.
We invite you to join us in Charting a NEW Course for Dementia CARE , from the comfort of your home. From July 24-26 you will be able to bid on our online auction, hear inspiring stories, and help thousands of families in North Carolina who are impacted by dementia. 

There is no cost to participate - although your donations are welcome and appreciated – just your willingness to enjoy the competition and bid with your heart to support local families. There are dozens of items to browse through and bid to win – all to support our mission to improve the lives of those impacted by dementia in North Carolina. 

To participate in this special online event, please register by clicking the ‘Register’ button below. 
HHS Asks Governors to Get Aging Providers PPE
Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services Eric Hargan wrote to governors this month, urging them to include aging and disability service providers when distributing personal protective equipment (PPE) and when determining prioritized direct care workforces. n4a has advocated with Congress and the Administration for this level of recognition and access to PPE for the Aging Network since March and welcomes the acknowledgement even now.
Legal Competency for Local Elected Officials
Zoom Session
July 31, 2020

Local Elected Leadership Academy (LELA) is hosting a Zoom session, Legal Competency for Local Elected Officials July 31. "Understanding your local authority, procedures and transparency obligations can be challenging. The laws are complex, and many situations raise questions that are unique to each set of circumstances. The vast array of social media platforms confuses the boundaries of free speech with the public’s business, and the rules by which a governing board operates are important to a citizen’s understanding of appropriate ways to engage with their local government officials.  
Through a combination of pre-recorded modules, lecture and interactive breakout sessions, this on-line course will focus on the legal requirements that local elected officials need to know to be effective, competent leaders. Subjects will include:

  • Legal authority of the unit
  • Roles and responsibilities of individual board members
  • Transparency requirements
  • Conflicts of Interests
  • Separate break-out sessions on rules of procedure for counties and municipalities.

This course will be offered online via zoom on July 31, 2020 from 10am -3pm with a mid-day break. You will receive the link to join the Zoom session in the confirmation email upon registering. Click  HERE  to register.

If you have additional questions, email Julia Marshall at
Basic Financial Workshop for NC Rural Communities for 2020 Year

8:00am until 4:30pm

Send the information on the form back to:

C/o Randy Welch
4328 Bland Road
Raleigh NC 27609
Scan the application and email it to
Or just call
919 805 5907 mobile or Raleigh Office 919 328-3157 (leave message)
This is a continuation of our USDA Technical Assistance program for NC. This is a Workshop In-A- Box basic financial workshop for those that are primarily associated with drinking water and wastewater utilities of NC (see the agenda). Elected officials, financial managers, town and/or county managers, drinking water and wastewater directors- workers and other persons that are involved with the financial matters of your utilities
You will be engaged with up to date information on the financial working and the requirements from NC LGC and USDA. You should attend if you need answers to financial questions and just need a refresher.
All are invited

 There is no fee charged for this training.
Financial Management Workshop—For Local Governments
 Halifax County Cooperative Extensive Building
(Upper Coastal Plain COG co-sponsors)
359 Ferrell Lane
Halifax, NC 27839
______ July 23 rd 2020

Lumber River Council of Governments (co-sponsors)
30 CJ Walker Road   Comtech Park
Pembroke, NC 28372
______ July 30 th 2020


Name(s): _________________________________________________
Mailing address: _____________________________________
City: ________________________________ZIP___________
Position: i.e. Financial/Operator/Administrator/ Elected Official/consultant for: __________________________
Note: 6 CEU’s will be offered to both the Drinking Operator and Waste -Water operators’ licensee (You will receive a certificate (CEU certificate will be mailed later)
*This class will follow all State and Federal Guidelines along with CDC Guidelines*

Dear Local Elected Officials:

We would like to share with you some on-line training opportunities being offered this summer by the UNC School of Government.

121 W. Nash St. Wilson, NC 27893